i knew this would come

stifled by the space

and darkness

familiar streets

the same old faces haunting the same old haunts

blocks i could circle with my eyes closed

the heaviness

the sadness

the cheese in the acme rat trap

i am not here

though my fingerprints scar the neighborhoods and predictable street signs

i never was here

she was me but i was not her

and here i am

unable to fill her shoes

and unwilling

smothered by the need to drive and “find something to do”

knowing the steps to its funeral march

i am paralyzed by my coordinates

suffocated regrets of never leaving and always returning

i am not her

yet it cleverly calls her name

and the emptiness in my heart

is programmed to respond

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